Sens erase 3-goal deficit, still fall 5-3 to Coyotes

Arizona's losing streak ends at 14

Sens erase 3-goal deficit, still fall 5-3 to Coyotes
Photo by Omer Nezih Gerek / Unsplash

The Ottawa Senators played a dominant second period tonight. Unfortunately, they got crushed in the first and outplayed in the third, meaning they fell to an Arizona Coyotes team that entered the match-up on a 14 game losing streak. Vladimir Tarasenko, Shane Pinto, and Tim Stützle each had three points, but it wasn't enough to overcome Anton Forsberg's .867 save percentage, nor the 3-0 lead they allowed Arizona to build up in the first period. In the end, the disappointment felt on brand for Country Night at the CTC, with the Sens giving us a classic heartbreak tune, further cemented by Joonas Korpiaslo being out with illness, meaning the Sens had a single goalie until Mads Søgaard could arrive from Belleville.

Right from the outset, the Sens just didn't look good. The game seemed slow and sloppy, and the 'Yotes raced out to a 12-4 lead in shots in the first 10 minutes. They got the game's first goal, when Thomas Chabot got caught between skating backwards and forward, Jacob Bernard-Docker covered nobody, Zack MacEwen forgot how to cover people, and Anton Forsberg let out an awful rebound that was an easy tap-in. It was a classic goal against where you couldn't decide who was at fault because there was so much fault to go around. No one in a Sens jersey covered themselves in glory on that one.

The Coyotes doubled their lead a few minutes later when Forsberg let in a rocket from the point with almost no screen in front. It was a confusing goal to concede. Zack MacEwen then got a little overzealous and took a 4-minute high-sticking penalty, and Ridly Greig took a tripping penalty early in the penalty kill, putting Arizona on 2 full minutes of 5-on-3. They scored just 16 seconds in. Mercifully for Ottawa, they didn't score on the rest of the powerplay. Even more mercifully for Ottawa, Vladimir Tarasenko decided to give his team a little life by scoring on a one-timer from a ridiculous angle late in the period:

The second period saw the Sens look better, clawing their way back up the shot clock, and eventually past Karel Vejmleka, this time off the stick of Drake Batherson in tight:

Then on a powerplay, Shane Pinto fired home a wicked wrister that Vejmelka probably wishes he'd stopped after all the shots he did actually stop:

After being outshot 18-11 in the first period, the Sens manhandled the Coyotes to the tune of a 19-4 advantage in the second. It was a complete reversal of momentum that was very exciting to see.

There must have been some discussion for the Coyotes going into the third, because they looked more ready. They got the first goal of the period, a powerplay goal after Greig took an ill-advised hooking penalty, and Parker Kelly got caught up ice on a shorthanded rush. Things boiled over a bit after that when Troy Stecher boarded Tim Stützle and then crosschecked him a couple times on the ice. Stü got up and challenged Stecher to a fight, and then Brady Tkachuk came bowling in as the third man in. Luckily, the Sens ended up with the powerplay (and no injuries) out of this, but couldn't score. With two minutes left, they got another chance when the Coyotes iced it. They pulled the goalie and got a cycle going, but Arizona managed to ice it, and then Matias Maccelli was the first guy in, allowing him to bank it into an empty net. The game ended 5-3, ending the Coyotes' losing streak at 14 games, and prolonging the Sens' to 3. That almost made it 5 losses in a row against teams not in playoff position.

Game Thoughts:

  • Kubalik and MacEwen were unimpressive and didn't play much. Nobody's surprised but it's been a bummer of a year for those two.
  • Tim Stützle had two phases in this game. In the first half, he looked scared to shoot. In the second half, he was flying, dangling everybody, dominating the ice. I'm not sure what shifted, but it was nice to see.
  • Tarasenko and Pinto seem to have some chemistry, as do Tarasenko and Tkachuk. It's gonna suck to see Tarasenko traded, though he does deserve a shot at another Cup since he's not gonna get it in Ottawa this year.
  • I'm not quite sure what was up with the Sens' PK. They seemed disjointed, and ended up allowing two goals to one of the worst teams in the league.
  • Forsberg didn't have a terrible game by recent Sens standards, but it would still be nice to see him make a save on, say, the 4-3 goal. Once again, an .867 save percentage isn't enough to win a game.

Game Flow:

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